The rift


2. Sirmium

Levi was standing at the top of a stone alter on a small hill, other stone alters was placed lined up with his alter, and more lined up across a road, next to his alter. The alter itself was about five meters in diameters, with six pillars at each side, forming a pentagon. The stone was pitching black, carefully cut to resemble glass. It was broad daylight; the sun had been up for at least 4 hours. The road was filled with people lined up and moving down from the hill in a line, as his eyes followed the line they stopped at a giant wall. The wall itself was an amazing sight; it stood at least 10 meters tall and went as long as he could see to the right and into a mountain standing about 5 miles away to the left. Behind the wall was the city. The city went on further than he could see. Some areas were tightly filled with skyscraper buildings and other parts with fields and smaller houses. They had even fit in a humongous forest inside the wall. Levy couldn’t fathom how big it was; it looked like an entire country was fitted there.


"Excuse me Mr., step down from the summoning stone thank you!” Said the guard
the man was talking in a fast tone. Levi looked down at him. He was a middle height man, short brown hair and glasses. He was wearing a blue military uniform. Levi hadn’t even noticed him over the big crowd but he had noticed the men in uniform patrolling the line. Levi did as he was asked,"Now what state are you from and what business do you have in Sirmium? We do not accept any more refugees!”
That’s right Levi thought, the now deceased girl said i was to stay with my "Family".
"I am a citizen of Sirmium, I’m here to meet with my family.” Said Levi
The Soldier looked pretty skeptical at Levi.
"A Citizen? Of Sirmium? I have never seen you before, and you look more like a delinquent… Do you have papers to back that up?" Said the guard.
Levi took off his backpack and opened it. The main room was filled with clothes carefully put together. Levi doubted he would find his papers there, so he closed it. He opened two additional rooms, and found what looked as a little black notebook in the last room. Inside the notebook was a picture of him and a lot of personal information. Levi closed the backpack and put it back on his shoulders, then he handed the book to the soldier.
"A passport? Let’s see here.”
The soldier opened the book and started examining. His face turned whiter and whiter the more he read.
“Ehmm excuse my rudeness sir, I’m very very very sorry! I dddii, eh! I didn’t know you were a Gallios! Please forgive me!!”
The soldier quickly folded his hands and bowed his head to Levi. Levi was surprised of his sudden reaction; my family must be important people, but if I’m supposed to be discrete, why there?
"You have done nothing wrong Soldier! Now i assume that I am expected, can you contact my family for me?” said Levi
the soldier looked up, he seemed calmer.
"Naturally sir, this line is only for immigrants, and fugitives.  You are expected, I’ll send for an escort right away!”
The soldier taped his glasses. 30 seconds passed. The soldier didn’t seem to do anything but looking at Levi. After a while he smiled and nodded.
“Right sir if you just go to the square over there to the east, you will be picked up in a few minutes.”
The soldier pointed Levi away from the crowd and behind the summon stone he came from. It was an open space. Levi began moving towards it.
“Oh and sir, Ill inform the Duke and his wife you are coming, I would be out most grateful if you didn't mention my screw-up to the Duke!”


Levi turned his head and nodded. The square was less crowded; there were a few groups standing around talking. Families, friends and soldiers mostly. The pavement was made of solid stone blocks, and benches were set up around the square. Levi found an empty bench and lay himself on it. He looked up at the blue sky and the clouds. Some clouds had formed into a shape of a dog with a leash; one looked like a fire breathing dragon and another like a cloud. Levi closed his eyes in hope that he could get some shut eye. Then opened them immediately again. When i left the woods it was night, and now it was broad daylight. What happened? Did i pass through time? Unlikely! Maybe i have travelled so far that it would make sense for the sun to be up now. Why am I sent here? I don't recall anything about the area and nothing about the City, maybe the whole point, fleeing somewhere no one will find me, but still. He closed his eyes again. Well there is no reason to think about something, I can't find the answer to. He was about to fall asleep when a woman’s voice woke him up.
"Get up!"
Levi, who was pretty annoyed with her screechy voice, didn’t bother to open his eyes.
"You are pretty bossy and noisy for an escort, don't you think? Said Levi
There was a few moments of silence.
“Escort? That’s my bench! Get away citizen while I still let you”. She spluttered
Levi opened his left eye. It was a young girl standing next to him. Her red dress suggested nobility. Levi judged her to be around 17 years old, but she could easily be older, she had long brown hair and a beauty spot just below her left lib. She stood about 163 tall and Levi couldn’t help noticing the fake double ds that were hiding under her corset. Her face was covered in powder, in an unsuccessful attempt for covering her  natural big cheek bones. It looked like everything about this girl was fake, even her blonde hair was so thin screaming of death from years of hair dye.
“Go find someone else to bother brat” Said Levi coldly
 her eyes erupted in anger. She bid her lower lip and almost yelled:
“Bbbrat! Impudent little outcast! You clearly have no idea who you are talking to! I’m feeling good today, I’ll let you off if you kiss my shoes”
“I don’t really care who you are! I didn’t see your name on the bench, so I don’t think you own it; there is a free bench right next to mine, use that.”
She bowed forward and opened her mouth like she would scream at him, but a voice behind her made her eat the words.
“Princess, let the poor man alone, we are leaving now!”
She looked back at the voice, then back at Levi. She puffed her chest and was back to the Childish attitude.
“You are in luck young devil! I have no time to indulge you... Hmpf!”
She coldly turned and walked away. What is this? Levi thought. She is a princess? I’m not surprised that a princes would be spoiled, but to this extend, and without any manners, what was she doing here anyways?
"Guess anyone makes for a princess nowadays." He said quietly and closed his eyes. Another few minutes passed by.

"Sir Levi?" Levi looked up; an elder man in a light blue suit was standing next to him.
"Yes I’m Levi" said Levi
"Oh so good to see you again sir, it’s been far too long! When i heard you got speared at in that bandit raid, I just didn’t believe it! Didn’t believe it I tell you! Just ask your mom if I didn’t tell her you were alive!"
The man looked like a butler, he had gray hair laid back over his head, and had a French mustache thing going. The butler was clearly happy to see Levi, and it was clear to Levi that the man held him in high esteem. I might as well play the cards, Thought Levi
"It's good to see you again my old friend!" said Levi.
"Oh and you sir, and you! If you don't mind me asking, are those the clothes you intend to see your parents in?"
Levi looked down at his clothes, nothing but rags. Looked like something any thug would wear.
"Of course not, I have a fresh set of clothes in my backpack, I didn’t have time to change on the way, is it possible to stop on our way" said Levi
"Certainly sir, if you don't mind, i can sneak you in to the servants quarters, like we did in the old days?" said The butler with a proud grin
"That'll do" said Levi
"Follow me sir" said the butler

He led Levi away from the square, in the opposite direction from which he came. 3 paths led away from the site, they used the middle one. The blue uniformed men, also guarded these entrances, but they just nodded when they saw the butler. The path was decorated with carefully cut trees in all sorts of different shapes. The butler was in excellent mood; he laughed with regular intervals, and commented to himself how happy Levis mom would be to see him. The road led to a 30 feet high tower. At the towers gate, stood two guards
"Get your passport ready son" said the butler, then he approached the guards showing his passport. Levi got his passport ready and followed him. It took the guard a while, looking strangely at the passport, then to Levi. Then at last he snapped his fingers, and the gate opened. Inside the gate was a spiral looking portal. Lightning was zapping from it, and it made a summing noise. Levi took a step back; this was nothing he had expected.
"Come on sir, we don't have much time, you are expected you know!" The butler went right in to the spiral and disappeared. Levi blinked a couple of times, he wasn't entirely sure about walking into that thing. He looked at the guards, one seemed entirely normal, and the other were looking strangely at Levi.
"Never tried a tension gate before" the guard asked with a raised eyebrow. Levi knew what a tension gate was, but he was not really sure he had ever used one. I guess I have no choice he thought. Levi pulled himself together, then looked at the guard giving a small laugh, as if he thought the guard was stupid. Kill me. Then Levi marched through the gate, into the portal. It was a short but gross feeling, it felt as though he was spinning around a thousand times each second, but before he knew it, the ride was over, and he went face first into the ground.

"You all right there sir?" Levi opened his eyes; the butler was standing next to him looking down. Levi could tell he was holding back a laugh
"Ouuuch" mourned Levi
"That was some fall. Been a while since you used a tension gate eh? Well the barrier around the city does make it quite difficult for the.... unpracticed. Well follow me, we should get you changed." Said the butler.
With minor hardship Levi got back up on his feet. They were standing in the front yard of an enormous mansion. Smaller buildings were lined up along the mansion leading into the front gate. The mansion shined in the sunlight, giving a reflection so hard that it was hard for Levi to even look at it. The butler lead Levi into one of the smaller buildings, that to Levis great surprise was filled with maidens. Levi was lead to an empty room where he changed. The cloth was almost identical to what the guards were wearing. The suit included a white shirt, black west, scarf and a blue coat. The leggings were also blue, but they was mostly covered by a set of brown boots.  It was the first time Levi saw himself. He was about 1.93 in height and well-muscled. His hair had a dark purple flare, which matched with the color of the earrings he was wearing. His face was unscarred and not even the smallest amount of stubble could be seen. His thin jawline, short and medium thick nose, dark eyes and the extremely narrow Space between his eyes made him look like a young delinquent.

"Knock knock -Sir we really need to get going, have you changed yet?”
"Yeah I’m coming out now" said Levi.
A few minutes later they entered the mansion. As soon as they entered the entrance hall he was attacked by an obese woman that could only be Levis mom. "Oh it’s so good to see you again Levi, I missed you so much!" She cried
 Levi didn’t know how to react to her kindness; after all he wasn't her son. ”Oh we were so happy when we got news that you were cared for! We already sent the farmer a big token as thanks." His mom said
Cared for, farmer? That girl should have filled me in a little more, thought Levi, but then felt a bit depressed knowing she was dead. Levi quickly thought about how to tackle the mom. "It’s all right mom, I’m fine now. I’m sorry you were worried" said Levi, and did his best to sound compassioned. "Are you sure you are all right? We brought a doctor just to be sure honey!" she said. "Heh no really, I’m fine" Levi said resignedly. After the mom had calmed down a little she took a step back. "They patched you up pretty good I’d say, hmm maybe our token was too small" Levi hadn’t even noticed the man before he spoke, mostly because of the human shield that had been covering his line of vision. The other reason was that the man talking to him only stood 120 cm tall. Wow wow there is no way, Levi thought but his fear was confirmed when the small man laid his left arm around his mom. That’s my dad? Our genes are like a hundred kilometers apart! Levi thought "Heh yeah they sure did a good job" said Levi.
"I think dinner is just about ready too" said his mom "And the servants have prepared quite the feast for you!" She added. For me or for you, Levi thought trying to hide a smile, but he was quite hungry.

"So what happened to you out there in the field? I heard the attackers were skilled rift users." said his father, Paulus while dipping his potatoe in some sauce.
Levi thought about avoiding the question, but soon thought that it would be better to give them bit honesty.
"I don't remember much from the incident, the doctor said it was due to my head injury." Said Levi.
"Well in any case you are still a disappointment!" Said Paulus.
"Oh come on dear! Honey he doesn't mean that" said his mom, Matia -with her mouth filled with food.
"I didn’t know you were seen by a doctor" said Matia
"Well, it was a vet" said Levi
Levi was quite surprised by his dads’ outburst, but he was kind of humored by the typical dad/Son issues and the trendies loving house mom. And the food was great: Steaks, potatoes, every kind of vegetable and fruit, and a delicious brown sauce. The rest of the meal was pretty much every day talk; the father sometimes snared at Levi, and was quickly scolded by his mom after. After dinner Levi was lead to his room for resting, by his mom’s request. The mansion was so big that Levi was unsure if he would ever find his room again. The ground floor contained four major wings beside the entrance hall, one of the wings was where he ate. The second floor had a major living room with a balcony to the front yard, it also had six separate rooms one of them Levi's room. 

His room was amazing; it must have been at least 80 square meters across. His bed was a 5 man dream bed with curtains and loads of pillows. He had his own minibar containing everything from light cold refreshments to liqueur. The first thing Levi did was hitting the shower, the cold water felt well against his tired body. He finally had some time alone, and that was exactly how he felt, alone. He felt sad for the Mysterious girl that had died for him. I didn't even catch her name; wonder if she had a family that would miss her. Wonder if I have a family that misses me heh. Can I really stay with these people? Am I supposed to wait for someone or a sign? Oh that’s right! Levi palmed his face. The letter! He thought. Levi turned off the water and wrapped a towel around his lower body. Then got out the letter from the rags in his bag pack. He sat himself on the bed and opened the letter:

I assume you don't remember anything and I’m afraid telling you who you are would bring the operation in jeopardy. You are not a bad person, and even though you must be feeling empty inside, I know you will overcome that. The City of Sirmium is governed by 7 Jarls, each representing the goals of their followers. Paulus is the right hand man to the Jarl of light blue. The light blue jarl is months from falling. The seven jarls  and their followers debate issues in the City senate, but since they can’t agree, no laws have been made the last 7 years. Everyone knows that the real battle lies in the cold wars’ separate operations and assassinations organized by the Jarls courts and criminal associations.
 As I wrote earlier there are seven Jarls.
The blooming orange is probably the ones with most power right now, they are servants of equality, and believe in their deity. Yet only believers are welcomed within their ranks
There is righteous Jarl of Dark blue, which represents the opposite will. They believe success is driven by the ability to obtain it. They give reward the successful and care Little of the unsuccesful.
The raging red wishes for a revolution, and is powered by some of the starving masses of this city.
The Cunning yellow, no one really knows what they are up to, they are not really in to politics, but support whoever is giving them Funding for thier research.
Then there is the intelligent Gray, Again not in to politics, but uses their intelligence to invent. they even built the formidable wall, I’m sure you have noticed. They believe they can solve every problem by technology and systems. Lately their supporters have dwindled, most jumped to the Orange.
Most people look down on the greens saying they are a nuisance. They care about preserving the nature elements, and are against any form of industry. They are fighting an eternal "war" With the gray, but currently have an alliance with the Orange.
At lasts the newly formed Light blue. It was really shocking to some when the light blue jarl appeared, especially since there has never been  light blue pressence in this city. Most of the Light blues supporters came from the Dark blue, leaving them outnumbered against the Orange. Right now the Light blue is leverage, they are the key piece on the board. Lastly wear your earrings when you are around others,
they hide your true color, and shows your support for the Light blues. I’m sorry that I can't give you any more than this, but you will have to trust me for now.  Aveza, the woman who gave you this letter, will be keeping an eye on you from a distance; please do not look for her. She told you to be careful, and you are to follow that, do not involve yourself in politics! Our enemy does not have much presence here, but watch out for any assasins that may roam around.
Best regards Andraste.

Great another set of useless information, Levi thought. Aveza, is that the woman from the forest? Guess everything didn’t go according to this master plan. It doesn’t even feel like there is a plan in the first place. A few knocks on the door disturbed his thoughts.  "Yes!?" Said Levi
"It’s me, Hans!" The voice was that of the butler.
"Enter" Said Levi without giving it much thought. Hans entered the room
"So your dad wished your presence...." The butler stopped when he got a look of Levi and gave a big  smile ”Oh let me even the mood a bit sir" Hans started untying his belt and then his shirt. Levi quickly realized what was going on. "No Hans, I’m good, you said my father wanted to see me? Wait outside while I change." Hans now looked a bit depressed, "Not today sir? As you wish" He said and closed the door after him. That butler is starting to get weird, Levi thought while he changed. A few minutes later Levi stood outside the fathers’ room. He knocked. The door was opened by a very beautiful maid. She had short white hair, and a very cute face. Immediately after opening the door she ran over by a bookshelf to the right. Paulus was sitting at his desk in the center of the room. He pointed his han to a chair opposite to him. "So to business" Said Paulus  with a cold tone. Levi was annoyed with his attitude and stopped him mid-sentence. "Is that really all you have to say to your son, after believing he was dead?" Paulus glared at Levi, then folded his hands and closed his eyes. "You are not my son!" Levi almost swallowed his tongue, does he know? "What do you mean" Levi asked
"Exactly what I said. You are not my son, and you probably never will be... You might fool your mom with that innocent look, but it doesn’t work on me!" Levi was speechless, seems he wasn't brainwashed after all, what in the world am I to do now? He thought. Paulus serious look had trapped Levis eyes.
“Why in the world would you bring yourself to collaborating with those demon reds! Yes I know! There is a reason I didn't want you to come live with us! Have you any idea how important this is to me? There is no way I would have been named duke, if I wasn't the king’s cousin! He needed someone he could trust, and I cannot have my son running around sabotaging everything I work for!" yelled Paulus and bit his lip.
Levi now spotted signals of regret and sadness in Paulus eyes. Well that’s cheeks and rectangular jawline was just a reflection of her body erotic bid. A relief, but it still would help a lot if I knew more details of what his problem is, Levi thought. Levi could tell Paulus was doing his best to get a read of Levis face, but he soon gave up. The next few moments were silent, and felt like an eternity for Levi. Then Paulus sighed and waved his hand.

"Bliss, come over here dear, I’d like some tea" Levi looked at the beautiful servant girl that appeared to be spacing out. Her beuti seemed overwhelming to Levi.  "Bliss tea now!" said Paulus with a raised tone. Bliss snapped out of her little dream and picked up the silver-plate with two cups and a teapot from the bookshelf immediately after. "Offer our little rebel here some too" Bliss stopped at Levis’ side first "Would you like some tea sir?" Bliss asked, with a loving smile. Would probably ruin the mood even more if I refused, thought Levi.
"Yes please" Levi answered. "Sugar?" Bliss asked when she was done pouring
"No I do not care much for sweets" Levi said with a grin. The maid smiled and went over to Paulus, and poured for him as well. "Sugar?" She asked.
"Yes dear, just you" Said Paulus.

Bliss didn’t have time to respond before her head went straight into Paulus teacup on the table. ”YOU SEE LEVI, THIS I WHAT THE RED STANDS FOR! YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A PAWN TO THEM!" Paulus yelled. Levi had almost sprung out of his chair by pure surprise. The teapot had landed on the table, spilling hot tea allover her soft blody skin. She mourned and cried, but she didn't try to push Paulus hand that was holding her down away. "WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING? RELEASE HER! Yelled Levi, he smashed both his hands in the table and sprung up.
"Oh Levi, no need to get mad, this is what you support in your heart is it not? This is what the reds stand for you know. Come on! You are smart Levi; you should by now have realized what intentions really were behind that bandit raid! It was an organized plan by the reds; they are trying to get to me through you, CAN´T YOU SEE THAT?" said Paulus with a raised tone. "Just let her go, and we will talk about this" Levi said, deeply to suppress his anger. Paulus Laughed. "Talk, time for talk has long past? Besides this girl is nothing but a marionette, what do you care? The reds are just puppets for the Dark blue Jarl, and just to make my point, I’ll show you what his standpoint is" said Paulus. “With his unused hand he ripped apart the back of the maids dress, and placed his hand on her breast.
”No, please stop" Bliss cried, and now tried to resist a little.

"This is the way things will be if you continue down the path you have chosen! Destroy me, and this will become reality in every home! But I suppose you don't care, do you? The father spluttered. He was now moving his hand down from the maid’s chest to her lower body; she had stopped resisting, and was now just crying silently on the table. Levi could no longer control his anger. He raised his right hand starting to draw energy. A Light blue aura manifested around him getting brighter and brighter. A thin blue axe materialized in his right hand, Levi intended to aim the Axe for Paulus right arm. Then just as he was about to swing it, the maid ran past him and left the room. Paulus was crying.
"Your energy, it is Light blue!" He said smiling with tears running down from his chin.

Levi smashed the axe down at the table, and then marched out of the room. The butler was waiting for Levi in the hallway, but Levi just past him and went straight for his room. Before he knew it he had buried himself in the enormous bed, and he fell asleep soon after.


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